Snapchat for Business

Snapchat

Snapchat

Ask the nearest teenager what Snapchat is and the answer you get might not persuade you to consider incorporating it into your business’s marketing plan. However, Snapchat is on the rise and with millions of “snaps” being sent every day, it’s time to start watching carefully to see how to be on the forefront of this mobile revolution.

What makes Snapchat different is the time-sensitive nature of the media sent. You can send pictures or videos lasting up to ten seconds, and after the time is up, they’re gone unless the user takes a screenshot. Businesses already on Snapchat (such as Taco Bell, the LPGA and Audi) have used this self-destructive mobile app to promote their business and encourage customers to participate in their brand.

One way to get customers engaged is to set up coupons or discounts only available through Snapchat. Send a picture of a product or of the business along with a caption (Snapchat lets you type a short caption or draw one) describing a promo code or coupon that Snapchat users can receive. Since the main appeal of Snapchat is that the pictures disappear, businesses can make the deal a one-day offer, to add to the feeling of fleetingness.

Snapchat is also extremely popular with the 18-30 year old demographic, and businesses like Taco Bell have used this to their advantage. Taco Bell used the app to send daily teasers about their new products, eventually unveiling the product via Snapchat. They also encourage users to photograph themselves with their food and they screenshot their favorites and display them. It’s a cheap way to access an audience that doesn’t like advertisements, but will watch a ten-second video or picture series from a business that sends them one.

Users feel as if they’re getting an inside look into what goes on behind closed doors—the pictures aren’t high quality, glossed-over representations of the business, they’re taken off the same mobile devices that the customers are viewing them on. It’s close, it’s personal, and it’s more attractive than a daily or weekly email reminder about products.

How to Use Hashtags for Your #Business

Hashtag

rHow to Use Hashtags for Your #Business

Blair Callahan

The hashtag seems to be everywhere now that big-names like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+ have adopted it, and adapting to its growing popularity is important in the social media world. Businesses with Twitters aren’t the only ones using them anymore, so the hashtag can’t be ignored any longer. Here are some ways to use them:

  1. The most popular way to use hashtags is fairly straightforward—you hashtag a word or group of words to create a link that people can click on to see who else is discussing the same tag that you used. This is a useful way to track how many people are using your specific, original hashtag and what they’re saying. You can start a discussion as a business and people who follow your account can respond and use the hashtag that you promote. Remember that capital letters in tweets don’t matter for search results, but spaces and punctuation won’t register and will mess up the hashtag.

Example: “Food truck rodeo today! Visit us and tweet your favorites using #FayettevilleStreetRaleigh”

  1. If your business wants to give a discount or a deal to the users who use their hashtag in a tweet, it’s an easy way to confirm their participation and their use gets your business’s name on the timelines of their followers. You can also hashtag the name of an event or sale that your business is having, so that people who attend or have questions about the event can use that particular hashtag to discuss it with other attendees or to just show that they’re going.

Example: “Retweet with your favorite salsa flavor and you get one taco on us! Use the hashtag #TacoBellSalsa and show us your tweet when you come in”

Example: “Going to the #JCPennyFlashSale this morning with Lilly!”

  1. Humor and voice is another way to use hashtags. Tweets with clever hashtags by businesses tend to keep their current followers interested in the brand—it might not gain new followers the same way that a searchable, relevant hashtag might, but it keeps your current followers entertained. These can also help demonstrate your brand identity as long as it stays true what the business might possibly say. Following Twitter trends (as long as they’re appropriate) are also good ways to entertain your followers. The trending hashtags are on the left side of your screen, and you can set it so that it shows your area or the entire country.

Example: “We’re sick of this rain at El Rodeo, too! Don’t leave us alone with this queso #eatingitall #comeinandseeus #butreally #quesoisgone”

A good combination of these types of hashtags makes it so that your business’s page isn’t redundant or boring, and that you’re getting good use out of the hashtags that you use. The hashtag isn’t going away anytime soon—no more ignoring its many #uses.

by Blair Callahan on LinkedIN at: www.linkedin.com/in/blaircallahan

Aso see Martin Brossman’s book on How to Use Hashtags on Amazon at: 
http://www.amazon.com/How-Use-Hashtags-Martin-Brossman-ebook/dp/B00JCD1II4/

How to Market a University in the Age of Social Media

Marketing a UniversityUniversity Marketing in the Age of Social Media By Cynthia Fobert

Research shows that people are suspicious of slick brand messaging and resent interruption advertising.  According to Martin Brossman, social media guru and co-author of Social Media for Business, they regularly block, skip or mute it.  Instead, consumers rely on what some anonymous reviewers say about your product or business online because these sources are assumed to offer authentic unbiased accounts. Unflattering comments on social media can override commercial marketing messages, and this phenomenon holds true for any branded entity, including universities.

It is not a stretch to suppose that if prospective students are checking reviews to decide where to go for lunch, they might also consult Google or Yelp regarding which university they should attend.  Although social media may be a preliminary source of advice when selecting a college, not all universities are paying close attention to what is being said about them in these online forums.

 To arrive at a plan to help turn around declining enrollment at a large, public, research-intensive university, I conducted an analysis of its social media profile.  Let’s call this institution U-One.  Searching Yelp for reviews of all universities in that city, I found two rival institutions were represented, but U-One did not appear at all. Certainly, in-state students would know about the existence of U-One from local media coverage and advertising, but for any out-of-state or foreign students for whom Yelp serves as a preferred platform for reviews, U-One was invisible.

 There were Google reviews posted about U-One, but these were problematic.  Not only was U-One’s overall rating weaker than its cross-town rival, the top three reviews and the only ones visible when you opened the window were scathing and unanswered. Although the effect of these reviews is difficult to measure, U-One was not in a position to ignore them.

 I recommended that U-One establish a system of monitoring and countering negative reviews with statements written and posted by students who hold very different opinions.  Social media staff should be in the business of canvassing faculty for successful students who might be called upon to write occasional positive reviews or to provide timely responses to attacks.  These responses must be real, honest and entirely authentic.  Little should be managed beyond the timing.

Just based on size, U-One’s Facebook and Twitter numbers should dwarf those of the small public university with which I am most familiar, North Carolina Central University (NCCU).  But this was not the case.  Despite having one-sixth of the student and alumni populations of U-One, NCCU had more Facebook likes and 14 times more Twitter followers.  A review of U-One’s Facebook content revealed why.

 Social Media Performance Comparison

U-One

NCCU

Student Population

55,000

   8,300

Alumni Population

250,000+

40,000

Facebook Page Likes

13,000

16,000

Twitter Followers

500

  7,000

 Prospective students will check out a university’s Facebook page to see what is happening on campus. It is a critical engagement and marketing vehicle.  At the time of my review, U-One’s Facebook timeline included a post of the CEO’s formal statement regarding an on-campus shooting.  Living 1,000 miles away, I would never have known about this incident had it not been for this post.  How many prospective parents and students learned of this episode this way?

 Other posts exhorted students to complete their senior surveys.

 Facebook offers a golden opportunity to showcase for prospective students what a vibrant and exciting life is in store for them if they choose to attend.  Consistent with the medium’s culture and message properties, content should be fun, social and full of great photos.  Posts should suggest things to do and see on campus and follow up with pictures and news about what they missed.  Primarily, the interests served by the posts should be those of your followers.  Otherwise, why should they follow you?

 Communication such as the CEO’s response to a serious incident on campus, crime reports, surveys and deadlines is better disseminated through segmented mass email.  Targeted email and web-page announcements are the workhorses of business communication. In an emergency, Twitter, phone and text messages, email, webpage alerts, and on-campus video and loudspeaker announcements get the job done.  Let Facebook be Facebook.

 U-One recently launched a slick, professional branding campaign with perfected photos and sanitized student, faculty and alumni statements. An illustration of the changing times in marketing today is the comparison of the number of YouTube views received by one of U-One’s professional marketing videos — less than 3,000 — with those garnered by an amateur, unsanctioned student production — 60,000 views.   How much less would it cost and how much more effective would it be for U-One to offer technical assistance to student interns to produce authentic videos marketing the university in a way that reaches those who regularly block, skip or mute obvious branding messages?

by Cynthia Fobert, a Graduate of The Social Media Management Certificate Training

Why Your Pharmacy Needs a Blog

Independent Pharmacy Business Blog

Independent Pharmacy Business Blog

Independent Pharmacy Business Blog give a competitive advantage over the big box Pharmacy locations

Chances are you’ve heard marketing experts sing the praises of business blogging.  But if you’re like most independent pharmacy owners, you haven’t given serious thought to incorporating a blog into your online marketing strategy.

In fact, you may have rolled your eyes at the suggestion of blogging thinking “Blog, schmlog. We’re already posting to Facebook and Twitter every day. Surely that’s enough!”

A Bitter Pill to Swallow

If your pharmacy is posting regularly to Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels but you’re not using a blog as a search engine magnet and customer relationship enhancer, you are building castles in the sand.    

A strategic business blog should be the backbone of your social media marketing efforts – the mother ship.  Over time, it becomes an invaluable online asset. You own and control it.

Compare that to other social media platforms where you’ve invested time and money. There, you’re working as a digital “sharecropper,” subject to the constant flux and changing rules handed down by cyber landlords looking to monetize their assets.

True — a business blog isn’t one of those cool, sexy apps that captivates media buzz. It’s more like a nuclear powered locomotive — one that must be fueled. Effective blog posts require forethought and more effort than a quickie posted to Facebook.

But done right, your pharmacy’s blog becomes an efficient, strapping engine that builds true momentum for the other “cars” on the marketing train. And together, they symbiotically expand, attract and anchor more of what you really want.


The Best 10 Reasons To Start Blogging for More Business

 

1. Get found online when prospects are searching for answers, especially from their mobile devices

2. Drive online traffic to your website/blog and foot traffic to your brick and mortar location(s)

3. Stimulate incremental sales from existing customers

4. Nurture a steady stream of positive reviews and testimonials

5. Boost referrals and opportunities for content sharing

6. Establish yourself and staff as trusted, knowledgeable experts

7. Magnetize local media folks and freelance writers looking for story ideas and experts to interview

8. Build a quality opt-in email list for updates and “Subscriber Only” special offers

9. Intertwine your internet marketing and “offline” marketing strategy and tactics

10. Look good on mobile devices even when your website does not

 

 

Business Blogging Basics

Google devours fresh content like homemade Mac  & Cheese. Your business blog is a dynamic, content- centric repository that feeds hungry search engines looking for substance, not junk food.

The platform upon which blogs are built makes it easy to publish keyword-rich articles, videos and other content to the web that look great without knowing any HTML. Your blog features easy-to-update content, displayed chronologically and organized automatically into searchable topic categories.

If you or a reliable employee who has a way with words can send an email, you can blog. You write
in a professional, but informal tone – just as you would when crafting a friendly, informative and grammatically correct email to a customer, prospect or professional in your referral network.

For the best results, always include at least one eye-catching image and apply a few stealthy tweaks to make your post more search engine and Pinterest friendly. Proofread carefully and click “Publish.” Your post is instantly live, available for anyone to find, including prospects near you searching for information and tips that relate to your industry.

Because a typical company website doesn’t get updated very often, it can be tough to compete for top rankings in local searches, especially those done from mobile devices. Managed strategically, your blog levels the playing field, giving you a competitive edge to “get found” by online searchers and the media looking for stories and experts to interview.

Your customers read your blog and share links with family and co-workers via email and by posting to the social networks they prefer. All the while, your business gains favor with Google and your articles (and sometimes, even your photo once you’ve set up Google Authorship) begin appearing on the first page of the organic (free) results, driving traffic back to your blog and website.

Publish fresh content once a week

Ideally, your articles are 400-600+ words long, but you can mix it up. The key is consistency! The best articles answer the same questions you field on a daily basis from customers and prospects. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be. Listen and ask. Answer questions. Then listen and ask some more.

If you don’t want to handle the content production and follow up in-house, hire it out. Find an expert to
write, optimize and cross-promote in social media and email. Be sure they are skilled at extracting your expertise and consistently reflect your voice and personality in the posts they produce for you.

Whether you hire me or a different blog content manager – don’t let the challenge of finding time and talent to create and leverage educational marketing content sabotage your best intentions for reaching revenue goals. It’s more like a marathon than a sprint, but you need to get into the race to preserve a competitive advantage.

Ready to learn more? Get in touch and I’ll help you figure out the smartest way to get off to a running head start.

by Jody Murphy  interplaymkt.com 

 

Pinterest and Copyright Law, for Pinners

Basic copyright law

The basics the parts of copyright law that affect your actions on Pinterest, from a US perspective.

  • “In the public domain” means, “the creator has been dead for 70 years.” It does NOT mean, “on the internet already.”
  • Once created, any “original work of authorship” is copyrighted. The copyright is almost always owned by the person who created the object. In some very limited and specific cases, the person who paid to have a work of authorship created owns the copyright, called “work for hire.”
  • Copyrights can be registered with the US Copyright office for $35 and when they are registered, the owner acquires additional, more powerful rights, including the ability to sue for damages.
  • If your URL doesn’t end in *.edu, assume that “fair use” does not apply to you.
  • The Digital Millenium Copyright “Safe Harbor” provision applies to the host, not the user. In other words, it protects content sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest, but not you, the pinner or poster of copyrighted content to those sites.
Copyright for Pinners

Copyright for Pinners (in the United States)

For additional information and the actual text of the law, spend some time at the US Copyright Office’s website. It’s very user-friendly and pretty clear.

Applying Copyright law to your Pinning activity

Trace the source

Whenever possible, pin from the original source, rather than repining. Tumblr is almost never going to be the original source, and neither will goggle.com. When you trace to the original source of a pin, you can often get a sense of whether the creator has allowed, tacitly or explicitly, sharing and pinning.

  • One professional photographer on Flickr publishes the links to the picture to make it easy to link and provides information about how he wants to be credited in that flickr account.
  • Because Flickr has an easy-to-use copyright and permission labeling system, you can be reasonably sure he’s happy to share with credit, the images that are on Flickr.
  • A different photographer has a separate gallery of 30 different images labeled “Pinterest share.” In this case, I’d feel comfortable pinning from that gallery, and far less comfortable pinning any of his other work.
  • When you trace the source to a websites with a “PinIt” and/or a “follow me on Pinterest” button, you can feel comfortable about pinning an image. Understand that the website owner is nonetheless the owner of the content. Do not change the URL or modify the image and give as much credit to the site in the caption as you want to type.

If you don’t have time to trace a pin, “Like” it to save it until you can come research the original source of the image (using Google Image search).
If you find a site does not appear to support pinning, consider “Liking” the image to save it without it appearing on your boards. (Not clear if this would be considered a copyright violation that would charge to you.)

Pinning your own images

You can always pin images you created (as long as you’re not taking a picture of something that is itself under copyright protection, most often “art.”) The Pinterest app for your smart phone makes it easy to pin-on-the-run

  • I found one image of a chair that was painted with a copy of a famous work of art that is not in the public domain. (Da Vinci & Michelangelo works are in the public domain; Klimt’s work is, Picasso and Pollack are NOT.) I did not pin the image. The copy of the painting ON the chair is, probably, a violation of the artist’s copyright
  • If you paid a photographer to make the image (realtors!?!, interior designers with portfolio photography, brides), make decisions about who owns what and who can pin what when you sign the contract.
  • If you are the photographer, start discussing Pinability of your images in your contracts.

Pinning with the PinIt bookmarklet

  • Use caution; consider whether the website owner is likely to benefit from the Pin / additional traffic; consider where you are pinning the image (what type of board?). Paste the URL in the caption as well as in the “Link” field. Use a helpful caption, rather than “cute” or “awesome” or the useless “.”, which gets you past Pinterest’s requirement to put something in the description field.
  • IF you have any doubts, email the website owner and ask for permission. As a group, photographers have a mixed response to Pinterest. Some feel they will lose sales; others believe that additional traffic will bring them more business. It’s their call, not yours.

In one case, I emailed a website owner and she told me she loved Pinterest, had an account under her own name which wasn’t the name of her studio, and simply hadn’t figured out how to put the PinIt button on her website yet. Now we’re following each other. (And I saved her email…)

Stock Photo, National Geographic, and other blocked websites

Pinterest helps website owners who don’t support sharing to block pins from a site. Many of the stock photo websites installed this code, as did the National Geographic website.
Pinning when you have to do something devious to get an image from a blocked, unpinnable website is the same as shoplifting.
Some clients may be more aware of this application of copyright law than you are. Like grammar, getting it right is invisible and getting it wrong offends. (That is, a client who recognizes that you pinned a protected image is more likely to put you in the “shoplifter” bucket than a “clever person!” bucket.)

Researching images

Use “save image as” to save a copy of the image to your hard drive, then drag that image to the Google Image search box. Google will tell you where that image has been used. If Pinterest is the only source, you don’t need the pin.

Review all pins occasionally

When you get more familiar with Pinterest, take 10 minutes to look at all your pins. Make sure they all have links and that those links are legitimate.

  • I missed some curse words in URLs when I first pinned, and I have since deleted those pins.
  • You’ll develop a feel for images that should be credited differently. Beautiful, well-photographed images that are “uploaded by user” on an account that is not full of user-created beautiful images are suspicious.
  • If you’re not sure about a link or a credit, delete the Pin. Something better will show up.

Non-participants

If you don’t want to play, put the “don’t pin from here” code into your website.
Search Pinterest regularly for your important images. Pinerest has a clearly defined system for removing pins that should not be on the site. Use Google image search to keep track of your own work—drag an image to the Google Image search bar, and Google will tell you what sites have used that image.)

Pinees

If you do want to play in Pinterest: add the follow me and Pinit buttons to your website.
Pin your own images to your own boards as a starter. Although Pinterest claims to not be about self-promotion, it also wants to see user-created content. Distribute your images across different boards, depending on your subject matter.
Decide whether watermarks are worth the trouble: it depends on your industry and your skill at adding watermarks to your images. (Photoshop will add watermarks, as will an app like PicMonkey.)

Summary

Pinterest is a fabulous tool for sharing images with your clients, your friends, and friends and clients you haven’t met yet. Share your own images, and images that have been clearly “permissioned,” and you’ll be fine.

*Notes:

I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
I am not a lawyer, so I have hired them, and I have learned this: Intellectual Property (IP) Lawyers have a different focus than family practice lawyers. If you need to know more about IP law in a hurry, hire a lawyer who specializes in IP law. IP Lawyers cluster around research centers and universities.

Karen Tiede is a rag rug weaver and reluctant social media marketer who discovered Pinterest for Business and lived happily ever after. Now she weaves recycled t shirts into beautiful rugs and teaches people in the portfolio professions how to use Pinterest to market their work.

Martin Brossman & Associates is a Raleigh based firm providing social media training, workshops, management, talks and advising to micro businesses, small and medium sized businesses, professionals, associations and communities. Contact info@martinbrossmanandassociates.com.

Free Business & Social Media Books via Kindle Free Ebooks

Free Business & Social Media Books via Kindle Free Ebooks

You may not realize that there are tremendous resources for business and social media available from Amazon for free through Kindle Free downloads.

Take a look at the categories in the screenshot on the left:

Fiction & Non Fiction, and within Non-Fiction you'll find Business & Finance, the business category. That's where you'll find books on social media, like Social Media for Business. (Though you could also find them in Computers & Internet, Reference, and Self Help-How To.)

Amazon Kindle books sell at the following country sites internationally:  UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. We're not finding them on Amazon Japan or Canada.

The Marketing book categories seem to vary a little across country sites, but try these links, below.

The UK's Kindle Marketing EBooks

Germany's Kindle Marketing EBooks

Spain's Kindle Business EBooks – Very few free ebooks in the larger categories, and non in the sub-categories. The Kindle Direct Publishing Free promotions do not seem to be propagating onto the bestseller lists.

France's Kindle Marketing & Publicity Ebooks – No free ebooks in this section, and only French books in the general Business category. Like on Spain's site, the Kindle Direct Publishing promotions do not seem to be reaching France's bestseller lists.

Italy's Kindle Business EBooks – Very few free business ebooks, and non in the marketing strategy category. Like Spain and France's sites, the Kindle Direct Publishing promotions do not seem to be reaching Italy's bestseller lists.

Kindle Access Limited by Country

Here is the German Kindle Bestseller list, showing top paid books on the left, and top free books on the right. This is the same as Kindle Bestseller lists on the US, UK, Germany and Spain. Italy and France only show free bestsellers at the larger category level, and very few.

It seems you must be a registered user with an address within the region in order to order Kindle books. For example, as an American, I can not order books from the UK's Kindle site. But to view them, all I have to do is log out, because Amazon's cookies don't recognize me on their international sites if I'm logged out.

Add Search Kindle Bestsellers to Your To Dos

It's well worth searching the categories for topics of interest and seeing what's there. You could search once a week, but specials may last only a day, so a quick daily search would be useful.

Anora McGaha is co-author of Social Media for Business with Martin Brossman. They offer training, advising and social media marketing programs for small businesses through Martin Brossman & Associates.

Social Media for Business is available on Amazon Kindle in the US, the UK, Germany, Spain, France and Italy, and in paperback on those sites, as well as Amazon Japan and Amazon Canada.

Free Photos for Blogs and Websites

“Where can I get royalty free photos?” is a common question asked. People are looking for free photos for blogs and websites with the demand of more content by guest contributor – Ross Chandler, features editor for the Rocky Mount Telegram and as a Web designer.

Only the most talented web designers can create engaging sites without art of some sort. But the issue is, where can you get attention-grabbing images, especially if you do not have a budget for them?

Frankly, I suspect most people do not hesitate to use a service such as Google Images to find what they want, then steal – yes, you read that correctly, “steal” – the images. The simple actions of clicking the right mouse button and choosing “save image as” is theft, even if the work is not marked with a copyright symbol. So, what is a designer left to do?

There are several options. First, look at how you are planning to use the image and compare that against the standards of fair use.[i] Copyright law – a federal issue found in Sections 107 to 118 of Title 17 of the U.S. Code[ii] – allows you to use protected materials within certain clearly defined ways if the use meets a four-part test. The parts are:

  • Whether you’re using the images for commercial or educational purpose.
  • The nature of the copyrighted image.
  • How much of the copyrighted image you’re using.
  • How your use would affect the potential value of the copyrighted image.[iii]

Of course, most people designing websites are not lawyers, and trying to read and apply the actual laws can seem overwhelming. My advice: Err on the side of caution. If you absolutely and honestly don’t think your plans for the image would be a fair use, don’t use it.

Another option is websites that offer free art.[iv] [v] The images range from photos to graphic devices such as buttons and banners. Some are included with the purchase of programs such as the Microsoft Office suite.[vi] Of course, you get what you pay for. Some of the images are of good quality; others are, well, Е you understand what I mean.

A third option is the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. The images that illustrate its entries are a mix of copyrighted items, which are included under fair use, and others that often are posted by their creators. Many of the latter have been released from copyright; some completely so, others with requirements such as the creator be given credit when the image is used elsewhere. It’s easy to tell a work’s status; click on it then scroll down in the window it opens in until you come to the licensing section where the copyright status is described. Here is an example from a recently added article:



Copywrite image

The government is another source. Images created by federal employees are in the public domain – that is, they are not copyrighted. Some agencies such as NASA[vii] and the Army[iii] have excellent searchable databases of works that can be downloaded for free.

When all else fails, there is another alternative: Ask the person who created the image. This recently worked well for me. As a newspaper editor, I needed a photo to illustrated a story on my weekly religion page. A Google Images search turned up a courtroom drawing that would work perfectly. An email pleading my case to the artist – need for art, no budget to buy any, and so on – led him to give me permission to use the drawing so long as Iong as I gave him credit in print and linked to his blog when the story was posted on my newspaper’s website. Will this work everytime? No. Did it take more time than other options? Yes. But, this shows that the approach can work.

This list isn’t all inclusive. The breadth and depth of the web means that new options regularly appear while some older ones disappear. Checks on search engines such as Google, ideas offered by other designers, and even luck can help you find the work you need for a website.

Article contributed by: Ross Chandler, features editor for the Rocky Mount Telegram and as a Web designer.




Quick Tips on Video and Audio Marketing

Beverly Mahone at the radio station

Beverly Mahone at the radio station

As a veteran journalist and TV and radio broadcaster, Beverly Mahone can appreciate the power of marketing through video and audio.

More and more people are discovering that they no longer have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a 30 or 60 second commercial. The growing popularity of social media now allows each of us to create our own advertising campaigns for the price of a video camera, plug-in headsets for your computer, and some creative imagination.

Video and audio marketing are great ways to get your name out there.

Here are a few video tips from Bev Mahone’s chapter.

1. Provide Quality Content. Offer resources or something else of value they can take away by watching your video.

2. Grab Attention With Your Videos. The goal is to attract your viewer’s attention, encourage them to research further on your site, and ultimately become a customer.

3. Take Advantage of All Your Social Options. Be a social butterfly. Connect with others on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Ryze, etc.

4. Show Your Personality. There’s nothing worse than watching someone who sounds like they’re uninterested in what they’re talking about.

Bev Mahone’s chapter in Social Media for Business also includes more detail and podcast tips.

There’s an old saying, “practice makes perfect.” The more you do it and work at it, the better you become. And always remember to enjoy what you do.

—-

What quick tip do you have for those starting out with video and audio marketing?

Brossman and McGaha's Social Media for Business Book

Find down-to-earth, insightful, practical and valuable practices, tips, perspectives and explanations in Social Media for Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha with chapters by 20 contributors, including Bev Mahone. Written by small and micro business owners, with direct experience that can help and guide you in using the Internet and social media to grow your business, referral partners and your reputation, this book will help you and your business.

Short chapters so you can find what you’re looking for and get what you need to know fast.  If you haven’t read it yet, order it now. Amazon for $16.52. Or apply  Discount code: C47P9D2V when you order on CreateSpace for $16.00.

Let the tens of thousands of hours of research and experience represented in this book save you time and grow your business – for less than $23 delivered.  Read what reviewers have said on Amazon.

After you’ve read it, leave your own review. Have suggestions? Email info@thesocialmediaforbusinessbook.com. We want to hear from you.

Web Video and YouTube for Marketing

Web video is digital video that is taken for displaying on the Web. It can be created as simply as through an off-the-shelf webcam or flip camera, cell phones, from digital photos, or, for a more professional look and feel, by working with videographers on location or in a studio.

The subject of the videos varies with your purpose. Commonly used lengths are from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Some of the common Web-videos our customers choose are:

  • Introductions
  • Addressing key topics about their business
  • Answering frequently asked questions
  • Testimonials from real customers
  • Highlighting their unique specialties

Using Web videos and YouTube add tremendous value to a marketing plan.

Here are five reasons why it’s so valuable.

1. Web Video shows you’re a real person

Video conveys authenticity and emotion in a way that text just can’t. Potential customers will get a much clearer sense of who you are, and begin to trust you even before you’ve met in person.  We recommend staying away from catch phrases and sales slogans – and just being real.

2. Everyone knows, trusts and uses YouTube

Everyone and their grandmother know about YouTube and have seen web videos on it. Even more than knowledge of YouTube, there’s the trust factor: clients will not hesitate to click on a link to YouTube. YouTube is a trusted tool that can be easily embedded in Web sites and blogs, linked to in emails and everywhere in social media.

For more from Alex Ferguson, please visit EpicRealm.net or his YouTube channel, or turn to the book.

Brossman and McGaha's Social Media for Business Book

Find down-to-earth, insightful, practical and valuable practices, tips, perspectives and explanations in Social Media for Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha with chapters by 20 contributors. Written by small and micro business owners, with direct experience that can help and guide you in using the Internet and social media to grow your business, referral partners and your reputation, this book will help you and your business.

Short chapters so you can find what you’re looking for and get what you need to know fast.  If you haven’t read it yet, order it now. Amazon for $16.52. Or apply  Discount code: C47P9D2V when you order on CreateSpace for $16.00.

Let the tens of thousands of hours of research and experience represented in this book save you time and grow your business – for less than $23 delivered.  Read what reviewers have said on Amazon.

After you’ve read it, leave your own review. Have suggestions? Email info@thesocialmediaforbusinessbook.com. We want to hear from you.

Using Video for Social Media

Social media strategy is not a catch-phrase, it is a vital part of any marketing campaign. It is pointless having a social media presence if you do not understand why you are there in the first place. Pay attention to the resources necessary to execute a successful strategy, as you would for other parts of your business.

If your strategy is to simply use social media as a broadcast tool for your wares, then hiring a professional videographer may be the best option for you. However, if your strategy includes engaging your fan base, then you can certainty create your own videos for your social media campaign.

Video is a very effective tool in your social media arsenal – it can be fun and engaging. Using video can add a personal touch that is difficult to convey with only words and pictures. A video will allow the viewer to know you, your staff and your business thus creating a deeper personal connection to your brand.

What equipment will you need? You will need a high definition (HD) video camera. The appeal of an HD video camera lies in its excellent video quality. HD camcorders shoot in 1920 x 1080 high definition video, which is the highest resolution available.

You will find it wise to invest in a tripod. The tripod ensures that the camcorder is stable, steady, and centered.

You may need a microphone, depending on the quality of sound you get from the camcorder. If you haven’t yet bought a video camera, ideally get one with an external mic jack.

Posting your videos on Facebook, MySpace, and local social networks.

If you plan to use videos on Facebook, MySpace, and local social sites, it is important to understand your target audience. The attention span of people watching video on social networks is probably quite short, so keep your videos under 30 seconds. The viewer is not likely to be interested in watching a long drawn out monologue. More likely they want to see and understand your business, products staff and reasons why they should keep following you.

30 Second Videos: What Do People Want to Know?

People are interested in your brand, your industry, your products and your services. Don’t make the mistake of focusing only on your products and/or services – introduce yourself and your staff. A personal connection is invaluable in branding your business. Make your videos interesting by showcasing a combination of these things. Be creative! Take people on a tour of your facility. Show real people using your products / services. Interviews with your employees, or employee skits are entertaining options for viewers. The options are endless!

Find Melissa O’Connor online through the links on her bio.

Brossman and McGaha's Social Media for Business Book

Find down-to-earth, insightful, practical and valuable practices, tips, perspectives and explanations in Social Media for Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha with chapters by 20 contributors including this chapter by Melissa O’Connor. It was written by small and micro business owners, with direct experience that can help and guide you in using the Internet and social media to grow your business, referral partners and your reputation.

Short chapters so you can find what you’re looking for and get what you need to know fast.  If you haven’t read it yet, order it now. Amazon for $16.52. Or apply  Discount code: C47P9D2V when you order on CreateSpace for $16.00.

Let the tens of thousands of hours of research and experience represented in this book save you time and grow your business – for less than $23 delivered.  Read what reviewers have said on Amazon.

After you’ve read it, leave your own review. Have suggestions? Email info@thesocialmediaforbusinessbook.com. We want to hear from you.

Ways to Use Photos Creatively in Social Media


Wall Flowers. With a camera on your phone, you can catch a photo anytime!

Photos attract attention far faster than words do.

So how can we be creative with photographs?

For some people getting creative means figuring out what to take pictures of.

For other people getting creative means adding graphics and enhancing the photos, making photo collages or doing interesting things with framing, naming and captioning photos.

Creative Subjects for Photos?

For businesses with brick and mortar, it may be obvious to some people, but not to others.

Don’t miss the obvious: your entryway, parking, signs, interior decor, the inside of your store, your products, customers in your store, pictures of you and your staff, images from your website, graphics you make to promote your products or an event.

Don’t forget the locale, seasons and events: local weather, local places to go and see, your business in different seasons, holiday related decor you use, events that happen in your store or that you participate in, other businesses you support, your sponsorship of any local events.

Consider humor. Humorous photos are good but think twice about who your customers are and make sure they’re appropriate for your audience.

What are Some Creative Ways to Work with Photos?

Social Media for Business by Brossman and McGaha in the Social Media Marketing section of the bookstore

Add text to photos. If you add text to your photos, you can point out things that your customers might be interested in.

Add graphics to the photo. An arrow and a note showing how your products are twice as big as someone else’s. A circle to point out fine detail. A star to announce some savings.

Some simple photo editing tools. If you’re not a Photoshop user, you can use PowerPoint, Picasa photo editor or Paint to add text to photos. You won’t have high resolution (it’ll be a little fuzzy), but you can do it. Be sure to choose a color text and design that is visible on the photo.

Most of all…don’t miss out – have a way to take pictures with you – ideally all the time .

Camera phones and handy digital cameras. Having a camera on your mobile phone is the easiest way to be able to catch photos anytime anywhere. Or, you can also get an small digital camera that fits in your pocket. Download the photos daily or once a week to your computer, choose the good ones to save, delete the poor ones, and you’ll be building your own media library for your online publishing.

Whether catching your team doing what they do best, a ray of sunlight on a plant in your office, or a customer’s pet (if they approve), capturing pictures of the ordinary moments in your day to day work life can be easy and rich content for your online social media program.

Find down-to-earth, insightful, practical and valuable practices, tips, perspectives and explanations inSocial Media for Small Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha. It was written by small and micro business owners, with direct experience that can help you use the Internet and social media to grow your business and your reputation.

Let the tens of thousands of hours of research and experience represented in this book save you time and grow your business – for less than $23 delivered.  Read what reviewers have said on Amazon.

After you’ve read it, leave your own review. Have suggestions? Email info@thesocialmediaforbusinessbook.com. We want to hear them.